While there’s really no debate whether winter maintenance is needed for our pools because no matter what season it is, it will need proper maintenance to prevent algae blooms and to prevent contaminants like bacteria and other bad stuff from running rampant in our pool. I guess the main reason why people keep on asking if pool maintenance is needed during the offseason is that many new pool owners will assume that since the pool isn’t going to be used for a few months, there isn’t a need for constant maintenance and monitoring.
Why does a pool need winter maintenance?
Even if you’re not using your pool during the winter, we must remember that your pool is a large body of water and two things thrive in bodies of water, bacteria and algae! Even if the pool is not being used, algae is still entering the pool from multiple sources and bacteria, well, bacteria is everywhere and they can come from multiple sources as well.
Sure, we can take the easy way out but would we really want to? Skipping winter maintenance tasks that take only a few minutes every week can lead to days, if not weeks, of not being able to use your pool when spring or summer rolls in
Protecting your equipment over the winter
The water quality is just one aspect of why we must maintain our pools during winter. Another reason why we must maintain our pool over the winter or off-season is to protect our pool equipment from damage. How so? Here are some things to think about when it comes to your pool equipment and why it’s still important to maintain your pool over the winter.
Pool Surfaces - Algae not only is an eyesore, but it can damage your pool surfaces when left unchecked during the winter. Algae can burrow deep into your pool surfaces, causing semi-permanent staining that will take more than a simple scrub to deal with and may often times need a full acid-wash to remove, especially when it comes to black algae!
Pool Surfaces, part two - It’s not only algae that we need to worry about if we leave our pool un-winterized or if we don’t give it a casual check every week or so, if the pool’s pH levels swing too much in one direction, then it can wreak havoc on our pool surfaces as well. Too low a pH level can cause corrosion and pitting on our pool surfaces which may need extensive resurfacing work done. On the flipside, too high a pH level can cause massive scaling which may need an acid wash to deal with as well!
Pool Pump and Filter Damage - If you’re leaving your pool stagnant during the winter months, this may cause damage to the pump and filters as well, remember, they’re designed to function in wet environments. Leaving them unused for longer periods of time without proper winterization may cause them to dry out and turn brittle. How so? Filter cartridge elements, if left to dry out, it may damage the elements themselves or the plastic frame, causing it to crack and break apart. For sand filters, if left to dry, and if there’s high calcium levels, you might end up with a block of cement inside of your sand filter!
Damage to cleaners and robots - If you’re the type (don’t worry, we are sometimes too) that leaves the cleaners in your pool for extended periods of time, leaving them in the water over the winter can cause irreparable damage to them. Yes, they’re designed for pool chemical exposure, but they’re not designed to be left out in the elements for weeks or months at a time. You might end up with an algae-encrusted robot or worse when spring rolls by.
Reasons to Winterize our pool and do winter maintenance
If protecting our equipment isn’t reason enough to winterize our pool, then here are some really good reasons to winterize our pool and do some sort of winter maintenance even if the pool isn’t being used.
Ease of opening - If you have maintained your pool properly over the winter, then it should only take a day or two when spring rolls by to reopen your pool. At the very least, you’ll only have minor adjustments and a pool shock treatment and you should be good to go for the summer!
Staying in the groove - if there’s one thing that can’t be quantified, it’s staying in the groove! If you just sit down and forget to do your pool maintenance tasks, it’ll be harder to maintain a good maintenance schedule once summer rolls back in! By continuing your pool maintenance routine during winter, you won’t be breaking stride! (Trust us, breaking stride, just like any other task is just as hard as doing everything for the first time all over again!)